A bipedal humanoid, Hyach can be distinguished from other races by their distinctively shaped skulls that feature two prominent lobes at the back of the head bifurcated by a line of spotted scales that runs from the bridge of the nose, up and over all the way to the back of the cranial cleft. They also possess ropey, protruding veins on their necks and high bone ridges over their eyes. Hyach are, in general, taller than is average for most races and some (males especially) have stiff and sparse hair across the back of the head and down the jaw line. Females can also be distinguished by their six relatively small breasts on the front of their torsos, three on each side from the chest down to the waist. Like Humans, Hyach have five fingered hands, though their feet have only three toes per foot. Their skin is thicker than that of Humans, with a somewhat scaly quality that tends to vary between what humans would consider light flesh colors to ruddy "sunburned" browns.
The Hyach body exudes an odor which many races consider to be pungent and quite nauseating. As a result, when travelling off-world many Hyach choose to wear specially scented robes to cancel out their natural smell.
Hyach reproduce like many other species through sexual coupling of males and females. Similar to the Drazi in many ways, Hyach have no external genitalia and instead reproduce and dispose of bodily waste through osmosis. Again, like the Drazi, fertilisation of a female Hyach is achieved through vigorous rubbing which transfers the male seed to female egg sacs through the skin. This act is done purely for reproduction, as the Hyach have no concept of sexual pleasure.
Once impregnated, the female will carry the developing embryo for the equivalent of 15 Earth months and will give birth to anything from one to five infants per pregnancy. Females can usually give birth a maximum of three times in their entire lives, after which they become sterile. Historically the low birthrate was said to be offset by their very long lifespans; however the truth was that there has been a steady decline in birthrates - twenty percent per generation - for centuries, following the extinction of the Hyach-do. With them gone and no longer able to crossbreed with the Hyach as they once did, the Hyach genome began to steadily break down, marking them as a dying race unless a way could be found to prevent the genetic degradation. The truth of this finally emerged in 2262 shortly after the Grand Council of Elders joined the Interstellar Alliance. Once fully matured, the average Hyach will grow to around 150 to 210 cm tall and anything from 60 to 158 kg in weight.
The Hyach include many of the telepaths, and all Hyach have some limited psi ability that enables them to exert an almost hypnotic effect though close eye contact. This ability is known to affect humans, but the same is not true for all races.
Society & Culture
Hyach Civilization is very peaceful and has endured for 7,000 years. Though favoring an essentially simple way of life, Hyach society can in fact be terrifically complex. Possessing a profound sense of their history and traditions that is said would put a Minbari to shame, the Hyach adhere to thousands of rules and rituals that supposedly cover every conceivable situation. There has been no significant change in this aspect of their civilisation for 4,000 years.
Marriage and parenting are very important to the Hyach, with all unions arranged by the elders of the involved families. The suitability of such marriages is judged first and foremost on the love between the couple-to-be. After that a very careful scan of the history of both families is conducted to judge compatibility. This engagement process takes a full Hyach year while the elders discuss the marriage. Polygamy is quite common and in fact many Hyach families consist of several sets of husbands and wives, with both males and females considered equal in all aspects of Hyach culture.
Like most races, the Hyach generally prefer the company of their own kind or of the Drazi, with whom they have had a long and surprisingly peaceful relationship. Since they are not great travelers, few Hyach are seen away from their home world, and those that are tend to be there for a specific purpose: be it trade, diplomacy or exploration. While off-worlders are welcome to visit Shir-shraba, they are not permitted to take up residence outside of diplomatic embassies, though exceptions have been made for a select few Drazi.
The Hyach economy is based exclusively on a barter or credit system, as by tradition currency is considered vulgar. So when travelling off-world a Hyach will trade goods and precious gems in order to pay their way. This is mostly possible due to the fact that some precious stones are more common on Shri-shraba than on most other worlds.
The Hyach worship an androgynous creator deity known as Oshi-Ta, "the Seed and the Egg" and this is the only accepted religion on Shir-shraba. A serpentine figure, Oshi-ta incorporates a balance between both male and female aspects and it is the belief of all followers that Oshi-ta tells all Hyach to live long, be wise and die happily so as to continue the cycle anew.
About one million years ago, the main evolutionary line of the Hyach divided, producing the Hyach-do. At first the two fought each other over land, then they learned to live together forming joint communities which eventually led to interbreeding between the two races. Over many years, this had become a great scandal and in about 1050 A.D. it ended with the passage of religious laws which eventually led to their persecution and then to their extermination. They were hunted down on their world until they were completely wiped out by 1462 A.D..
When the Hyach became part of the interstellar community, they edited their history files so that other races would not learn of the shame of what they had done. However, over time it was discovered that the Hyach birth rate was in a steady decline, the cause of which was eventually found to be due to the absence of a crucial genetic component that could have only been supplied through intermarriage with the Hyach-do. With the Hyach-do gone, the Hyach seemed to have paid for their genocide with the possibility their own extinction. This discovery was eventually made public in 2262 when the Hyach Grand Council of Elders joined the Interstellar Alliance and submitted their medical records to Dr. Franklin in 2262. Research into how to save the Hyach race was put into motion, but would take years, and it is not certain if it is even possible to save them.
Glossary of Hyach Terminology
- Grand Council of Elders: Chief ruling body.
- Oshi-Ta: Androgynous creator deity. Roughly translates as "The Seed and the Egg."
- Pree: An alcoholic drink. It causes humans to shed hair if consumed.
- Shri: Shir-shraba solar cycle equivalent to 16 Earth months.
- Ssh-Ba: Honourific. Literally means "Oldest of the Old."
- Babylon 5 Scripts - Other Voices: Vol 3 (Babylon 5 Alien Guide)
- The Official Guide to Babylon 5 (CD ROM)
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